tv The Stream Al Jazeera March 8, 2014 12:30pm-1:01pm EST
shower. >> thanks so much for watching al jazeera america. i'm morgan radford. "the stream" is coming up next. remember for news updates all throughout the day you can always head over to www.aljazeera.com. stay tune. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and >> hi i'm lisa fletcher and you're in "the stream." buckle up. we're going to walk the streets of baghdad with ordinary iraqis to get a sense of what or the oy life is in a place of utter. >> my host wajahat ali is here
with me. we thought about this a lot when we were in iraq, when the u.s. was in iraq, then we left and it's kind of fallen off the radar, in the last couple of days, we have learned what real life is like for average folks like us in iraq. >> you mentioned falling off the radar. there are about 32 million headlines that have fallen off the radar. our community as tweeted in, i don't have anything to say except i am sorry. iraq has been neglected for too long. it has suffered with and without saddam hussein. then our own producer here, dana growing up in beirut lebanon this is normal. even when things are normal, you are anxious about the next bomb. iraq is a reminder why we, the
u.s., should be careful to condemn other countries who invade. >> your normal life is probably like the normal iraqi's. the only difference is you're not wondering if there will be an explosion in the store or the car next to you on the commute is going to blow up. every day folks, trying to maintain a sense of normalcy. last year was the bloodiest since 2008. more than a decade since the war began, a distant and almost forgotten memory. >> and iraqi people can be certain of this: united states is committed to helping them belt a better future. -- build a better future. if conflict occurs, we'll bring iraq food, and medicine. and supplies.
and most importantly: freedom. [applause] >> for many a better future remains elusive and the legacy of the u.s. invasion complicated and still unclear. the first national election since u.s. withdrawal just around the corner, what hopes and dreams to iraqis have for the future and how are they meeting the challenges of daily life? here to help walk us in the shoes of the future, much ever his family still lives there. welcome, it's so nice to have you this side of the camera for a change. >> thank you for having me, usually i'm in the back room but it's nice to be here with you. >> i know this trip was incredibly emotional and important. why was it important for you to go to iraq? from i'm iraqi. i lived in --
>> i'm iraqi. i lived in a household with two wonderful iraqi parents. throughout my life in my home, politics and news was a regular thing. it was a regular conversation. so i took a lot from my parents. but i lived outside of iraq. so i never really knew what that place was like. all i knew was the stories through my father, the stories of the good days as he would say, when he was growing up, and the stories of the struggles, undersaddam hussein and -- under saddam hussein and the struggles. this story was about connecting with my roots. about going there and seeing it for the first time and seeing you know the places that my father spoke of. that little alley that he grew up in. his house, my ant -- aunts and uncles, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience. >> for anyone who hasn't been to the place of their roots it's
filled with i think almost a romanticized version of what it's going to be like. there's this huge buildup for you, this huge buildup your entire life. did that happen and what happened when you arrived there? >> that's exactly what happened. when i arrived i remember being in the airplane and as the airplane was approaching the airport, so many different emotions were going on inside of me. i was wondering what am i going to see? i was both excited and nervous at the same time. i was excited to experience what this country -- but i was afraid that the headlines that i've been reading for so long had poisoned my head to the point that i will confirm it by being there. and kind of hate what i see. or what i saw there. so i was a little bit worried about that. but it was the next two weeks actually took me through a range of different experiences that
i'm still in the process of figuring out what to do with that information. >> well speaking about one of those experiences, you mentioned the trauma that you saw, light e was normal and i know you told me stories about how like that everything can change. and our community is talking about the aftermath of your involvement. tiva says there's loss of life loss of safety and the world has lost its dream. iraqis don't cope they adapt. who is left to tackle the social impact? and aust, this is a ballast that went off in baghdad, you were there and captured it, check it out. we got this community knowledge. what do 32 million iraqis have to face every day.
>> before telling us that, will you relate an experience that is so close to what they go through every day? >> sure. driving out of the airport one of the first things i noticed was the level of security. there are checkpoints everywhere. there are tanks and soldiers stationed in certain roads, every few hundred feet you would see someone standing there. so you can feel the presence of security. now, driving through, i kind of saw a rough situation, the roads were bad. the cars -- the traffic was a little bit chaotic. but at the same time, i felt like there were people there were still living a normal life. you know? they cope with what's going on. i had thought about the vulnerability there. kind of living with the sense of terrorism but i hadn't experienced it yet.
so i had just been to iraq. i'm driving around and i see faces. i see people that are tired. i see people that are frustrated. but i see people move on. i saw people you know at shops buying all kinds of good. friends hanging out. people living just the regular kind of life. and it wasn't until the fourth day that i was there, when a ballast, very close to where i -- blast very close to where i was staying, at my aunt's house, shook the windows of my cousin's room. it wasn't until then that i realized that this terror is a part of these people's everyday life. and to live with it was a very strange thing. i mean, when i walked out, after that experience, when i was in the streets, i could sense a paranoia. i could sense the fear. i carried my backpack with me. i had my laptop.
you know i traveled between my uncle's house my other aunt's house and i carried my camera. i could sense people were looking at me. what does this person have in those bags? they can see i'm not from there, you know. so i could sense they were looking at me with suspicion. i don't blame them. because the unpredictability of the terror, you know, it's a common saying. everybody says over there, you know, you just have to accept it. because if you don't accept it, you can't do anything. what do you sit in your home and do nothing? you have to go out. >> the tweet you read, asking how you cope, it's like they mem memorize what's going on, your backpack didn't belong. your camera didn't belong. >> people talk, in regular day light, you and i go out wajahat,
a blast goes off two days ago and these water pipes are broken or they've been targeting this one particular street so let's vovoyavoid it. let's take one of the back roads. i was in my cousin's house and we step outside their building. a car was there, i didn't recognize it. i asked them quickly why is that car parked there? he says don't worry, this is our neighbor's car so it's fine. so people are very aware of their surroundings and they're very aware with the security and what they need to do, avoid certain places, avoid certain times. yes, it's unpredictable but there are certain peaks where people are out in the street, the blast took place at 8:00 p.m. everyone was in the market, very
busy time. people avoid these certain times they know what to do. >> hardly a day ghos b goes by t an explosion in iraq. how do you raise your kids with any sense of normalcy? when we come back, we'll be joined by people doing it. give this a try. >> tv is no longer one way, with the stream second screen app. disagree with one of our guests, great, tell us, get exclusive app content, receive graphs, why could be tent information. you can be our third co--host, vote, tweet, record video comments and we'll feature them on air. use the app and features on tv, this literally puts you in the can be control room. use it with every live stream
on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life. on al jazeera america >> welcome back. we're talking about what life is >> welcome back. we're talking about what life is like for an average family in iraq. trying to function amid
escalating violence. joining us for more is hayder are hashim. and kadija elauf. that is in the kurdish region of iraq. it is in the middle of the night in iraq right now. hayder, you get up, go to work, get the kids to school. how do you do this day in and day out? how do you do something as simple as going to the grocery store and dying because you were in the wrong place, in the wrong time? how do you do this without dying? >> especially when you have your kids with you or without your kids, every time when we go out and when we go -- when they go off to school or when i go to my business, i keep in my mind, are
they safe, are they come back, are they very good? before two days, i take them with me by the car, they say, oh father we are bored, can we go out? i say good, let's go someplace wrwith the car. after ten or five minutes, a blast bomb car on the road and suddenly, to us, very rush and crowded. and then, the ambulance sirens and the fireman and i just couldn't make -- how can i come back to my home? and my wife, calling me and couldn't get the number, and then, i stop for a moment, i said oh, same day. tomorrow will be better. it's our life.
>> hayder, community's tweeting in, they say they wanted to be freedom and successful iraq. but no, destruction of families, homes, businesses hunger increasing terrorism, bombings increasing ethnic are unrest. lost of hundreds of faultless lives. raisa tweeted in, how do iraqis cope with the trauma? especially those were young during the invasion of h-adija. you're sunni and kurdish and young iraqi. talk to us again how are young iraqis really coping with this trauma? >> thank you first of all thank you for having me on this show and for giving me the
opportunity to express myself. from inside iraq. and to you guys, to the world, through al jazeera. are so my situation is, very unique. because i lived in baghdad, i'm from baghdad, i'm a sunni arab,fully covered from a conservative background and moved to up to the north and by the end of 2007. and there, i finished high school, it was an arabic high school. and then i joined the american university of iraq, which is another place, i left my family and went to that university. i still today, like i have the memories of dead bodies lying on the streets in baghdad. and i had to go by these dead bodies when i went to school
there. i do remember their faces, looking at me. like how they looked. they were -- cars were not able to go through the streets because of these dead bodies. i do still have the memories of blasts, exploded close to my schools. when i went to one of my secondary schools. i went to more than six schools in baghdad, during my school time. because every time we settle in one neighborhood, and then there was some kind of unrest in that neighborhood, for instance, as you may know, that is a very hot area in baghdad. it used to be especially right after the war. so we settled there for a while and then we also had to go somewhere else. and my family thought, like,
there is no way for our kids to continue like that. to get their education. so we moved to the north. >> khadija i'm going to pause you there. as aws said, day after day, 9/11, right, this is the closest touch that most americans had to the kind of violence in the iraq. it continues to have a profound effect yet almost nobody when you considered the population was directly affected by it. i think of iraq and the conversations we had where people almost everybody is living in terror and directly affected. >> and everybody has a story to tell. you talk to cab drivers, engineers, engineers, beggars on the street, everybody can tell you about a family member, a
brother they have lost, a friend of a friend, nobody has been untouched by the violence. like hayder and khadija, the chaos in the house that i experienced was something i have never been before. my initial reaction was first of all it took me a couple of seconds to register what just happened. this blast shook the house and a bombing happened. okay. then i noticed there was panic in the house. i thought everything was okay, we were all there. but my aunt came out and said my sister had just left with her daughter and she was a little bit, not a little she was very scared actually. and this created such panic in the house. what i noticed is everybody reaches for their phone. everybody calls everyone that they know to make sure they're okay, anybody in the neighborhood. my two aunts have husbands that work on the same street where the blast happened. but then as we talked about it,
this is one of the way they cope with the violence, is they talk about what just happened, right? they make sure that their friends and family are okay. you know. but i will tell you the one thing that really shocked me is seeing little children like my cousins little kid he's three years old. a few hours after when we were going, he goes up to the door and says to us, "be careful out there." a week later another blast happened but not as loud, in the same neighborhood and my cousin's other kid said aws, don't worry, this one wasn't as loud. >> little children having to worry about this violence. >> one other quick thing, you want to know aws you want to know how people are used to the violence here? when that one blast took place,
he passed a little bit earlier, ambulances collected the dead and injured. people continued to shop, fruits and vegetables. you're talking about a regular market. this is the level of the extent to which people are used to this kind of terror and to live with it, i couldn't -- i couldn't imagine living there for years like that. i couldn't imagine switching schools six times like khadija did. >> speaking about instability our community has tweeted in, i wanted to get these in before break. instability like you just mentioned and corruption when the ranks of security and the government in general, had rendered ineffective in iraq. the sunnies disagreement with political leaders and unsophisticated ghoft government issues, tons of problems. >> we're going to discuss iraq's
potential and i think everyone on our panel, a lot. first here are a few of the stories we're following. >> al jazeera america presents extrodanary documentaries. colin comes from a long line of ferrymen. >> you're a riverman from start to finish... >> now he leaves home to see what life is like on the waters of bangladesh. >> it's absolutely filthy... >> he learns how difficult working ther can be. >> how do you say..."get out the way"? >> shoro >> can this brittish man find common ground with his local host? >> "must really take it out of mr. loteef"... >> toughest place to be a ferryman
hayder, talk about the state of politics in iraq right now. an if you feel that politicians there are helping iraqis to achieve the dream or dismantling it. you know, lisa, politicians not telling the truth about the dream. what dream? the dream mr. george bush said we'll bring freedom. i believe the americans left the iraqi people just like leaving, wounded person in the road. they didn't help us to finish our dream. >> khadija, we have a question about shareem, is getting out of iraq what young iraqis aspire to
do? >> i don't think so. for me personally and for young people i know i used to be with during my school time, i don't think any of them consider emigrating to other countries or getting foreign credit passport, because they hate to leave iraq. my generation and i have hope, and we are trying hard to succeed. in spite of all these difficulties and obstacles and in spite of the iraqi government has recently signed an arms deal with iran. worth $195 million. they say, what does that tell us like about the near future at least, and how violent that will be? i'm not sure. but those we have to say locked in our houses, or you know, stay
jobless, i don't think so. i think young people are like trying to do something in here. >> aws, there is a common saying in iraq, that iraq has no solution. which speaks volumes about the mental state of the people who live there. what do you think fundamentally has to shift at this point to create an undercurrent of hope? >> i think this saying i heard everywhere i went. i heard it through friends. i heard it from cab drivers, store owners, everybody, iraq has no solution. i think what they median by that is the -- they mean by that is the americans are out. like left like a wounded man in the middle of the street. but there's two sides of the same coin. the americans did their part, and now they're gone. i think now it's in the hands of
politicians. sand like k-hadija is saying, politicians have no connect with the street. they live in different areas they have security personnel. i mean, you see them on the street, when a politician is coming through they have got an entour a an ofentourage of thre. there are young people that are doing a lot of cool are work. there is a place called idea space, initially a hacker space. a lot of young people. but they will need politicians that will work for them. there is only hope unless the politicians are change their act. that's what i can see. >> thank you all. in the meantime you can find us